#BOOKSTAGRAM : What I’m Reading in 2020.

A 2020-belated intention of mine is to read more and before the eye rolls begin because you’ve read the same thing 987 times, hear me out. Please…

I moved back to London in January and like most Londoners, I spend a LOT of time on public transport. Tubes, buses, overground trains – the works. When I realised that sometimes 3 hours of my day can be spent getting from A to B I started thinking how I’m spending those hours? Am I working? What am I thinking about? Am I procrastinating? Probably.…

Anyone who tells you that WIFI works on the tube is point blank lying to your face. It doesn’t connect and if it does, it’ll connect as the tube starts to speed off. Pointless. Instead of permanently trying to connect, I decided I’d use this time to disconnect. This lead to my intention of 26 books in 2020. And so far, this is the list!

With Coronavirus being forefront of our minds, conversations, TV screens and a lot of us having to work from home (or self-isolate), this gives us the opportunity to take a little bit of time to prioritise reading.

The news is overwhelming. It’s negative and has really instilled panic and fear in a lot of us – I can definitely put my hand up and say it’s scared me.

So much so, I’ve decided to limit the amount I listen and consume it. That doesn’t mean I’m avoiding it because it’s important to be aware, but BBC News Live doesn’t need to be on 24/7. Once a day is more than enough.

I’ve also made a pact with myself to turn off social media notifications at 8pm, tune out and read. It gives me a break from thinking about the things that I cannot control. That’s all I’m going to say about COVID-19, I don’t want it to be an all consuming topic. This post is about books after all! What I will say is please stay safe, happy and healthy.

Back to the books!!

One thing I love about the #bookstagram community is talking to others about the books they love then, picking them up myself.

I put out a question on my Instagram stories about book recommendations and had over 90 responses with title and book ideas! As a result, I’ve created a sticker highlight on my IG which I’m using a lot. As soon as I finish a book or find a new one, I’ve been adding them in. Recommendations go such a long way after all.

I also want to note that I’ve been reading via iBooks which isn’t quite the same as holding a physical copy but has meant I’m reading a lot quicker than I might normally. I was slightly apprehensive thinking that I might get distracted by notifications and emails coming in whilst reading, but that hasn’t been the case so far! It’s also extremely easy to buy books this way and if you’re impatient like me, means you don’t have to wait for the book to arrive. Hooray!

SO, without further a do, here is a little overview/ outline so far. These are my personal thoughts and opinions and as always, I would love to know what you thought if you’ve read any.

1. ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Single’ Catherine Gray.

This is a book I think EVERY person read. Single, taken, married whatever your relationship status, read this book. The writing style is accessible and super fun to read. Catherine Gray is like your best friend. Its positive, upbeat and encourages you to re-evaluate your assumptions about single-life urging you to find the contented single person inside you. It gives great advice, offers stats and personal experiences which are so relatable.

2. ‘Everything I Know About Love’ Dolly Alderton.

I was extremely late to the party with this book but as soon as I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. This is genuinely one of the most heartwarmingly funny memoirs I’ve read in such a long time. I laughed out loud on the tube, cried and so many parts rang true to me. Reading about love in a way that is so relatable makes you feel comforted and a little better about past relationships. It did for me anyway. I’d describe this book sort of like Sex and the City for millennials!

3. ‘Why We SleepMatthew Walker.

The amount of hype around this book was ultimately what prompted me to read it. It took me a while to finish and a while to get into, but I did enjoy it. It’s an important and fascinating read especially because we live in a culture where we believe there is always more than can be done even at 11pm. It made me think about sleep a lot and initially, did prompt me to make sure I got 8 hours a night. However, when I didn’t get the right amount, I found myself slightly stressing over it. Perhaps that’s my over-thinking nature? I’d be interested to see if anyone else found they did the same!!

4. ‘So LuckyDawn O’Porter.

This book is hilarious. You will genuinely laugh out loud and probably start snorting. Warning: if you are at all prudish, the humour might not be for you. What I loved about this book was that it touched upon how society can be so judgemental and toxic. Many of us believe we need to live up to unrealistic standards that we set ourselves when in actual fact, we don’t. I loved how true to life the characters were even though all 3 characters were very different.

5. How Do You Like Me Now?Holly Bourne.

This book was all kinds of wonderful. The plot explores issues around social media and validation – something lots of us will be able to relate too. The book is a story not a self help one, but, there really are some nuggets of gold and credible advice amongst the humour and drama. It’s a page turning thought provoking novel about finding yourself. An all round great read.

6. ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ckMark Manson.

My honest opinion? I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I found it VERY hard to get through and it almost took 3 weeks which is quite a long time for me. I didn’t find myself wanting to pick it up as much the others I’d read so far which frustrated me quite a lot because I was on such a roll. Apparently the audiobook is better so if you’re wanting to give it a go, I’d perhaps suggest that!

7. ‘Jog On’ – Bella Mackie.

As someone who has (and does) struggled with anxiety and has found that exercise helps to soothe those symptoms, it was natural that I’d gravitate toward this book. Mackie describes how initially it was just a couple of minute around the block but this then turned into more miles, new places and new experiences.

Running offers your mind a rest and allows for other parts of your body to take over. Its an empowering feeling and Mackie manages to capture that perfectly. If you’re at all curious about the benefits of running for mental health, I’d hands down recommend giving this book a read.

Book No. 8 is still TBC and I’ve decided I’m going to mix up the genres too – some self-help titles, some rom-com, biographies, fiction and non-fiction – lots to keep me entertained, engaged and learning.

There is no better feeling than when you really get stuck into a new book so if anyone has any titles or suggestions, please let me know below! Who knows, maybe we could even start an online book club!

Happy Reading!

Amy xo.

1 Comment

  • Adjusting to A New Normal | Amy Cousins
    March 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    […] Amongst all of the above, we also need to take care of ourselves. So despite the stress, anxiety and turmoil you might be experiencing I wanted to write a longer than normal post addressing some of the techniques and tips I’ve learnt from reading a number of self-love and self-help books. […]


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